Return to Transcripts main page
President Biden to Meet with World Leaders as Report Warns Earth in 'Unchartered Territory' with Climate; Biden on Cusp of Historic Week for Domestic Legislative Agenda; CNN: Most Progressives Signal Support for Spending Package; What Trump Wants to Keep Secret from January 6th Committee; Astros Win, Bringing World Series Now to 3-2; Donald Trump, Melania Under Fire for Tomahawk Chop at Braves Game. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired November 01, 2021 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and truly around the world. It is Monday, November 1. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar. And Wolf Blitzer is standing by in Scotland, because right now President Biden's set to arrive any minute there for climate talks with more than 120 world leaders.
It is a key stop on a high-stakes foreign trip that has already delivered major news on trade and a deeply personal and unusual papal visit.
And while he is overseas, he could be poised, finally, as far as he is concerned, for a major legislative victory here at home. Key votes on his domestic agenda now appearing imminent.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Overnight, the president rolled out a long-term strategy to get the U.S. to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
And here are the five keys of this plan: 100 percent clean electricity by 2035; switching over to electric cars and buildings; helping people transition away from old, wasteful appliances; reducing emissions from super pollutants; and scaling up carbon removal.
Now, something needs to be done fast, because a new report from the World Meteorological Organization says that the past seven years on Earth are on track to be the seven warmest on record, with record levels of greenhouse gases, propelling the planet into unchartered territory, with far-reaching repercussions for current and future generations. That is what the report said.
Let's get now to CNN's Wolf Blitzer. He is live for us in Edinburgh, Scotland. Wolf, this is a very important trip for the United States and its global partners.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It certainly is, Brianna. It's so, so critical right now. What these world leaders decide to do in the coming days potentially could have life and death impact on so many millions and millions of people around the world. So it's critical right now for all of this to develop.
The question is, what are they actually going to achieve? Are they actually going to get the job done? There's a lot of skepticism. The president arrives here just in a little while from Rome. They had the G-20 summit over there. They made some important decisions. They've got to make a whole lot more important decisions.
But the U.S. certainly wants to take the leadership role in all of this. One of the key problems right now, some of the major polluters out there, whether China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, they've sent delegations here. But certainly not the leaders. They're not going to be here. President Putin is not going to be here. President Xi of China is not going to be here.
And that's a great disappointment to U.S. officials. They wanted face- to-face talks. They didn't have this -- it's now the COP26, but they didn't have it last year because of COVID, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
About 20,000 delegates are now arriving here in Scotland to participate in COP26, COP conference of the parties 26. But they've got two weeks to make some decisions.
One of the most important decisions they're going to have to make is money. Because it's going to cost billions -- billions -- tens of billions, hundreds of billions of dollars to get the job done over the next few days. It's not going to be easy. The wealthy countries are going to have to help the poorer countries deal with this, and it's going to be a huge, huge challenge.
I've got to tell you guys, coming into this COP26 summit here in Scotland, there was a lot of skepticism among well-placed sources. But they're working hard. They're trying to get the job done. The words are very strong. The question now: Will the words be followed up with action?
BERMAN: A little wrinkle in all of this, Wolf. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announcing she has tested positive for COVID. She's not on the trip right now.
What do we know about how she's doing and her contacts with the president?
BLITZER: Well, one of her kids had COVID. The -- you know, I'm sure it's a disappointment. I'm sure she's doing fine. She put out a statement saying thank God she had been fully vaccinated, and it's going to reduce the possibility of any complications.
But it's a disappointment. Certainly, Jen Psaki would have liked to have been here with the president, briefing reporters, talking about what's going on. So it's a disappointment.
But as she correctly points out, it could -- potentially could have been a whole lot worse if she had not been vaccinated right now. She's -- she has been vaccinated. She'll be fine when all is said and done. But she's got to quarantine. She's got to stay home. That's why she's not in Scotland right now. I've got to tell you guys,
the -- the COVID restrictions that have been in place for these 20,000 delegates who are gathering in Scotland right now are really intense.
If you haven't been fully vaccinated, you have to be tested here every single day to make sure you don't test positive for COVID. They're really being very, very careful with the masks, the social distancing.
As I said, they didn't have this conference last year because of COVID. They were determined to get together to meet right now. Boris Johnson, the prime minister of Britain, wanted everyone here. Not everyone is here, obviously.
But President Biden, he will be here in a few -- I think later this hour he is scheduled to arrive here in Scotland. So, you know, he's going to be taking a major, major leadership role in trying to get the job done. We'll see -- see what happens.
Then he heads back to -- to the United States. I know, and as you guys know well, the -- the White House is deeply disappointed the House and the Senate didn't pass the two infrastructure and the -- the social spending bills. They're hoping that that gets done in the coming days. It's not a done deal yet. And until it's a done deal, it won't be, obviously, resolved. We'll see how they do.
BLITZER: Wolf Blitzer for us, and your beautiful backdrop in Scotland. We'll be back to you again very shortly as the news develops there.
And as Wolf was saying here in the United States, a critical and potentially historic week for the Biden agenda. Progressives now signaling they will back both economic bills when they come up for a vote. And that vote seems likely later this week.
CNN's Lauren Fox live on Capitol Hill. I said "seems," Lauren. You tell me. Is it really going to happen this time?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A major breakthrough over the weekend with progressives saying that they are going to support both pieces of legislation, both the larger social safety net bill, which they said they supported at the end of next week and, more importantly, that bipartisan infrastructure bill. Because progressives have been arguing that they could not get behind that bill until they had the assurances they needed from moderate senators that they were going to support both bills, as well.
So the trust gap seems to be resolved at the moment, but obviously, this isn't a done deal yet.
FOX (voice-over): President Biden taking off from Rome to the united king bottom this morning, hopeful his domestic agenda will land by the end of the week. At the G-20, Biden saying he's confident about moving forward. JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe we will pass my
Build Back Better plan, and I believe we will pass the infrastructure bill.
FOX: Back home on Capitol Hill, Democrats signaling votes could happen as soon as tomorrow.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): Democrats have been united in their value of what we need to get done. And I think that you will see people come together this week and get two bills that are badly needed, done.
FOX: After months of negotiations, Biden announcing a slimmed-down version of his economic and climate bill last week, eliminating key priorities, including a federal paid family and sick leave program, free community college, and expanding Medicare to include dental and vision.
The changes, efforts to gain support of two moderate Senate Democrats. Despite Senator Kyrsten Sinema's silence, Democrats who has spoken with her, believe she will ultimately support Biden's economic bill, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the conversations.
It's still also unclear how Senator Joe Manchin will vote. But last week, the West Virginia lawmaker said he will settle for the $1.75 trillion price tag.
REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): We've already pared this down. You know, we're still going to have some very great pieces of legislation in this. We just need Manchin and Sinema to also want the same thing we want.
FOX: Even with the massive cuts, Biden's bill still features funding for child care, universal pre-K, a year-long extension of the child tax credit, and billions to invest in combatting climate change.
One Biden administration official suggesting some policies like paid family leave and expanding Medicare benefits could be on the table later in the president's term.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, ENERGY SECRETARY: The fight is not over. This is not as though we're done, and we're going to go home.
GRANHOLM: You don't get everything you ask for all the time. This is the way compromise -- the president campaigned and said compromise is not a dirty word.
FOX: Senator Bernie Sanders saying it's key to get all Democratic senators on the same page ahead of the vote.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): I think there has got to be a framework agreed upon in the Senate that all of us know is going to be implemented before the members of the House vote.
FOX: After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed the vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill last month, progressive Democrats say they're ready to give Biden their support.
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): The president has shown patient and extraordinary leadership. It's time for this party to get together and deliver.
FOX: The one outstanding issue, John, that remains is negotiations over lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Because there is still that negotiation going on. They're trying to finalize some language. This may get pushed until later into the week.
But sources I'm talking to say progress is being made. And a slight delay shouldn't be taken as a sign that things aren't moving forward -- John.
BERMAN: If the vote were to happen this week at all, I have a sense the White House would be just ecstatic at this point, given how long it's taken.
Lauren Fox, thank you very much for your reporting.
KEILAR: In the meantime, we are learning what is in those documents that former President Trump wants to keep secret from the January 6th Committee.
A new court filing from the National Archives has details about who these documents concern and how broad this request is.
So let's walk through this now with our CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig, who is at the Magic Wall with us. He's a former state and federal prosecutor.
OK, Elie, what, first, is in these documents?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Brianna, you can call this a gold mine. You can call it a treasure trove. You can call it the holy grail. We're learning more and more on just how crucial these documents are going to be to the January 6th Committee's investigation.
First of all, we now know who these documents specifically relate to and were created by. We're talking inner, inner circle in the West Wing, Oval Office: former President Donald Trump; Mike Pence; Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff; Kayleigh McEnany, the former press secretary Stephen Miller, the former senior advisor; and Patrick Philbin, a lawyer. Donald Trump's inner circle on January 6th.
Now, we also are learning a bit more about the specific content of those documents. There are 770-plus pages involved here. They include handwritten notes, internal memos, call logs, draft speeches and something called the daily diary, which lays out, basically, the minute-by-minute movements and communications of the president. You can see why these are going to be so important. Now, how did we end up here? Remember, the January 6th Committee served a subpoena on the National Archives to get these documents. Donald Trump, however, filed a lawsuit saying, No, no, no, you can't turn those documents over. They're executive privilege, and other legal arguments.
On the other side of this lawsuit, we have the January 6th Committee. There's the chair, Bennie Thompson, the National Archives itself, the White House, the president, and the House of Representatives, the current House, plus a group of 66 former lawmakers, including 22 Republicans. So Trump is on a bit of an island here when it comes to this lawsuit.
KEILAR: So he's on a bit of an island. Does he, you know, have any standing here?
HONIG: So, it's a good question. We don't exactly know. The key concept here is executive privilege. And the question is can a former president invoke executive privilege?
Well, we don't have a definitive decision, but we know from an old Supreme Court case in 1977 that, on the one hand, the privilege survives the individual president's tenure, meaning there could be an instance where a former president has some ability to invoke executive privilege.
However, the court told us that, in general, the current president -- current president -- is in the best position to assess the needs of the executive branch and to invoke the privilege accordingly.
And if we look at recent history, we've seen examples where it is the current president making that decision. Back in 2001, George W. Bush invoked executive privilege relating to documents from his predecessor, Bill Clinton.
2009, Barack Obama made a decision not to invoke executive privilege relating to documents from his predecessor, George W. Bush.
If you look at the precedent here, it has been the current guy. The current guy, Joe Biden, will be making that same argument in court.
One thing that's so important to remember, however: even if Donald Trump can somehow invoke executive privilege. That's not the end of it. The court is still going to have to do the balancing tasks that they set out in the Richard Nixon case.
On the one hand, the court is going to consider what's the need for these documents to come out? On the other hand, the court's going to consider how important is it that they remain secret? So even if Trump can invoke executive privilege, he's still got an uphill climb in the courts.
KEILAR: Yes. Even if he's not successful, this takes time, which may be the point here. So walk us through what is next and, you know, how long in total this could take. HONIG: Yes. So we're in front of the district court now. Now, the
judge, Judge Chutkan, has an interesting history here. She has gotten several of the January 6th cases relating to the criminal cases against rioters. And she's made some interesting statements about the way she views what happened on January 6th.
She said in one case, quote, "A violent mob seeking to overthrow the lawful elected government and a very real danger to our democracy." That tells you that Judge Chutkan takes what happens on January 6th very, very seriously.
And let's just look at where we are in the bigger procedural picture here. We are at the lowest level here, U.S. district court. That's trial court. Whoever loses this case, and they'll be arguing it on Thursday, whoever loses this case surely is going to appeal up to the middle level, U.S. Court of Appeals. Whoever loses there will try, and the important word there, "try," to get the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case.
Will the Supreme Court take the case? We don't know. They don't have to take any case. They only take a small percentage of cases. However, this is the kind of constitutional showdown, Congress versus executive branch, current president versus former president. That's the kind of case that the Supreme Court does tend to take.
So we've got a ways to go here, because the arguments we're going to see this week will be absolutely crucial, Brianna.
KEILAR: All right. We'll be watching. And look, I think we'll be talking a lot about this in the coming months. I'll see you a bunch on this. Elie, thank you.
Up next, don't call it a comeback. The Houston Astros pulling out all the stops in game five.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a base hit to the left. Took the corner on third. Throw by Rosario to his left. And Maldonado with another RBI.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: The excitement, the upset. Coy Wire has our "Bleacher Report.
Plus, former President Trump stoking controversy again. Why this photo of him doing the tomahawk chop with Atlanta Braves fans has members of the Native American community frustrated.
BERMAN: And a Southwest Airlines pilot under investigation for saying a phrase over the intercom that conservative circles use to swear, cuss, at President Biden.
KEILAR: Houston, we have a game six. The Astros staving off elimination, beating the Braves, bringing the World Series back home, which is always wonderful.
Coy Wire has more in "The Bleacher Report."
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: Hi, Brianna. Braves fans are ready. I was there. One woman drove with her three teenage boys all the way from Tennessee. They didn't even have tickets to the game. They just wanted to be there.
Atlanta was a perfect seven and oh at home this pro season. Braves looking to celebrate their first World Series championship since 1995. And they came out firing on all cylinders last night.
Bottom of the first inning, bases loaded, Adam Duval hits that ball out of here. Empties those bases. A grand slam on the very first pitch.
But the Astros kept chipping away. An error by shortstop Dansby Swanson helping Houston tie it up in the third. The Astros would take the lead in the fifth.
Pinch hitter Marwin Gonzalez in only his third at-bat in the pro season comes to it with a two-out, two-run single, making it 7- 5. Those Astros go on to win it 9-5.
And now, as you mentioned, Brianna, that series heads back to Houston.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLOS CORREA, HOUSTON ASTROS SHORTSTOP: We win 3-1. Now we're still down 3-2. But I truly believe that, if there is one team that can accomplish that in this league, it's us. So we're staying confident. We're just going to go out there and battle every single inning and try to win every single pitch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WIRE: Game six tomorrow night. Last team to come back and win the World Series after trailing three to one, the Cubs in 2016.
Braves lead the series 3-2 now. MLB teams who have had such a lead, Brianna, have won 69 percent of the time. We'll see.
KEILAR: They've got a shot, then. They do have a shot.
WIRE: Yes, they do.
KEILAR: Thirty-one percent.
WIRE: You're saying there's a chance.
KEILAR: You're saying there's a -- pretty good one, I would say. Coy, thank you. WIRE: Uh-huh.
BERMAN: So Former President Trump talking his way into the World Series. He went Saturday, claiming he was invited by Major League Baseball. Reporting quickly contradicted that.
And while he was there, he performed the controversial tomahawk chop, the gesture with stereotypical noises that critics have said mocks Native Americans.
This comes after he demanded earlier this year that his followers boycott baseball.
Joining us now is CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman, Washington correspondent for "The New York Times."
Let me just go through the time line here of how he ended up at the baseball game. He put out a statement that said, quote, "Looking forward to being at the World Series in Atlanta tonight. Thank you to the commissioner of baseball, Rob Manfred, and Randy Levine of the great New York Yankees, for the invite," he said.
Well, then the Braves CEO put out a statement, or was forced to put out a statement that, said, quote, "He called Major League Baseball and wanted to come to the game. We were very surprised. Of course, we said yes."
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right, and I think there had actually been reporting even before that Trump statement from the Braves CEO, saying that he had -- he had sought this invitation.
And, you know, what I'm struck by is not that Trump said he got invited when he asked for the invitation. What I'm struck by is that, once again, his efforts to get attention work. Right?
He basically had been shut -- There was this effort to -- he was telling people to boycott baseball. Other people were telling corporations to boycott him earlier this year.
Now here we are several months later, nine months after January 6th, 10 months after January 6th, Trump is asking to be let back into this major event. He gets a yes. He gets to -- he frames it however he wants. People are going to remember his statement. And he gets attention.
And so, yes, it isn't true -- what he said is not true, just based on what the CEO of the Braves had said before. And yet, this is exactly the playbook that Donald Trump has followed every single time that he gets pushed to the side in public life, is he finds a way to inch back in, and you saw the result on Saturday.
BERMAN: And he got the picture of doing the tomahawk chop.
HABERMAN: He got what he wanted. I mean, he got his own -- I'm not saying -- you should not hear that as me saying the ends justify the means, because I'm not. I'm saying he is absolutely saying something that isn't true.
But he doesn't care. Whereas, you know, other people do care. And he has, at the end of the day, been deprived of the most attention that he had ever had in his life, once he left the presidency. And he is slowly finding ways to get it back.
BERMAN: Why does he want the attention?
HABERMAN: Because this is something he has wanted for 40 years, and it is not simply about running for president. Although certainly, that is part of it right now, I suspect.
BERMAN: Positioning for that. The reason I ask that, why does he want the attention, is because Tim Scott, senator from South Carolina, who some people see as a possible presidential candidate, was asked directly about it over the weekend and more or less said, if Trump s running, I'm going to support him.
HABERMAN: Yes, he said something -- it was a little lighter than that, but it is true, that it was, you know, would you be behind him. And he said of course, or something like that.
And you're right, that Tim Scott is not only seen as a prospective candidate, but he is seen as an attractive candidate to a lot of Republicans who liked Trump's policies, did not like Trump's behavior. I have heard Tim Scott's name over and over again.
It is interesting that you are hearing him say that publicly, because at the moment, what I'm hearing from a bunch of other Republicans, privately, again -- they're not saying this publicly. That's always the asterisk here. But they are saying privately, you know, that they're going to -- Trump is not going to be a factor in their decision, right?
So among the people who I have heard is telling people that it's Mike Pompeo. He has -- he has told a number of people that he told Trump directly he's going to run, even if Trump runs. Did he actually tell Trump that? How did Trump react? Did Trump react well and nonconfrontationally or get annoyed? We're never going to know. It's a conversation between the two of them.
But he is one of the people saying that there are other Republicans who are sort of signaling Mike Pence is one of them. He will have a hard time, I think, running if Trump does, as would Mike Pompeo for the same reason.
But I think that you're seeing, more often than not, Republicans trying to signal they're going to do what they want. That said, Trump is obviously the 800-pound gorilla in this race.
BERMAN: Yes. Two things: one, once he gets in, it could be a different story. Two, how long will he wait before he lets them know? Will someone like Mike Pompeo have to get in just to get in? HABERMAN: Right. Well, everybody else has a different consideration
than Trump, right? He could conceivably wait until 2024 to get into the race. It would be bad for his party if he did that, but it -- it would be on his own timeline.
BERMAN: I want to ask you about John Eastman, who is the lawyer who wrote the memo, the blueprint, for how to overturn the election for how Mike Pence could overturn the election on January 6th.
"The Washington Post" reported the presence of an e-mail that Eastman wrote to Pence's people, saying this insurrection is your fault because you didn't step in the way.
It was there was another interesting data point over the weekend, which is that Andrew Kaczynski and "The K File" team put out an interview that Eastman did with Steve Bannon on his podcast on January 2 that gives us a window into Eastman's state of mind. Let's listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO TRUMP: Is there a way, an alternative way that you see the power through this using either the Electoral Control Act or some decision that made that the vice president of the United States grows a spine and understands his constitutional duty as you interpret it, Mr. Eastman?
JOHN EASTMAN, FORMER ATTORNEY TO DONALD TRUMP: Those slates of electors are invalid. And I think if the vice president, as presiding over the joint session, would at least agree that, because those ongoing contests have not been resolved, we can't count those electors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Why is that significant?
HABERMAN: It's significant because there has been -- well, it's significant for a couple reasons.
No. 1, it illuminates the timeline. Anything that illuminates the timeline leading to January 6th, I think, is important. No. 1.
No. 2, it's important, because John Eastman, in a number of statements, particularly with "The National Review" -- I'd say it was most prominent there -- in recent days has been trying to say that, essentially, What I wrote on paper, I didn't really believe in any of that. I didn't think this was a practical way to do it.
One of the things that happened in the lead-up to January 6th was that Eastman was telling Pence's people, and he was telling the president. And he was telling people around the president, Pence can do this. Pence can overthrow these results. Pence can reject these results.
Then when it became clear that that was not going to happen and that other, you know, legal scholars didn't think this was realistic. Suddenly, that's when Eastman and others started switching to, Send it back to the states. They've been trying to suggest the first thing wasn't happening. That audio is a reminder that it absolutely was.
BERMAN: It shows you what he's been really felt, despite what he's saying now, after the fact. Very interesting.
All right. Maggie Haberman, great to see you, as always.
So it is election eve. Hear what Democrats and Republicans are doing on their final day in two critical races.
KEILAR: Plus, Alec Baldwin making his first public comment since the shooting on the set of his film, "Rust". Why his back and forth with reporters became tense.